A year after holding on to his veteran assets, Niagara IceDogs coach-GM Marty Williamson moved fast.
Supply is elastic, so not every veteran defender on a 'seller' team is going to be available at once. That is why the IceDogs, who are committed to a full-scale rebuild, made their big move last week by trading captain Jesse Graham to the Saginaw Spirit. Williamson got a good return for the 19-year-old New York Islanders fifth-rounder: two guaranteed second-rounders, a third. The Spirit also owe Niagara a 2018 second-round pick if Graham, an undersized puck-moving defenceman who's unsigned by the Islanders, plays as an overage.
"Most of the time, the talk really heats up at the first week of December," Williamson said. "We kind of wanted to beat the rush, to some extent. [The Windsor Spitfires' Nick] Ebert and [Slater] Koekkoek, Trevor Carrick in Mississauga, there's going to be some defenceman who come on the market. We wanted to get our deal done. There were teams who wanted to get it done early. We were pretty focused on where we wanted this team to go, the direction we're going in. They paid a bit of premium to get it done early."Read More »from Niagara IceDogs ‘beat the rush’ by moving Jesse Graham to Saginaw Spirit